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Your account is empty - what should the app say?
your balance is $0.00 81%  81%  [ 21 ]
you have $0.00 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
you have no money 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
your account is empty 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
I hope you have other means 12%  12%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 26
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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:23 am 
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Hi,

We are writing an application that shows a summary of an account to the account holder themselves. Product design want one terminology, some in the technical group have other ideas.

A straw poll would be useful to assist one side or the other,

What say you?

Thanks,

Porter

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:38 am 
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The application should 'say' nothing and just show "$0.00". If some marketroid is afraid the application wont be understood/used because of lack of verbosity, you can compromise and say: "Balance: $0.00".


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:40 am 
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I favor a consistent "your balance is XYZ," regardless of the value of XYZ.

However, I suggest adding a cue that clearly distinguishes a zero or near-zero condition from other conditions. For example, the text might change color as zero is reached/approached, or a special icon could appear, or additional text could appear, such as a second line like "Would you like to replenish your funds?" or "Would you like to transfer funds into your account?" Basically, some obvious cue to alert the casual, distracted user that a zero balance is present/imminent.

I suppose some of this might depend on the use case, too. For example, different behaviors likely would be appropriate for a desktop app used by investment professionals vs a mobile app directed at teenagers.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:40 am 
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"Your balance is $0.00" sounds the most accurate and politically correct.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:44 am 
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8% of the male population finds the color red( as well as most other often used colors) to be uninformative. Applications should only use color as a hint to identify things not the sole method of information, such as "please complete the fields marked in red". This is the most frustrating use I have found, since I CAN'T find the field marked in red. The second most frustrating is tricolor LEDS; I can't tell the difference between yellow, green or amber.

My vote is "You balance is $0.00". Hopefully people with an account understand what 'balance' means.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:20 am 
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skywriter wrote:
8% of the male population finds the color red( as well as most other often used colors) to be uninformative. Applications should only use color as a hint to identify things not the sole method of information, such as "please complete the fields marked in red". This is the most frustrating use I have found, since I CAN'T find the field marked in red. The second most frustrating is tricolor LEDS; I can't tell the difference between yellow, green or amber.

I agree, Sky. I was mindful of that when I made the remark about colors; color should never be the sole signal. I find the lack of attention to such basic interface issues in so many technology interfaces to be a continual source of dismay.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:58 pm 
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Yeah, in CAE/CAD it happens a lot. I always made sure a complaint was registered vociferously.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Thanks all for this, some good information. I would not want to be seen as being biased on my own poll, but I can see a trend. :)

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:47 pm 
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How about making $0.00 red and having an exclamation point (or other symbol for low balance) at the end:

Quote:
Your balance is $0.00 (!)


I'm presuming there is a threshold such as if the account is under $100 it will alert like this?
I'd prefer it to otherwise be consistent. i.e. normally

Quote:
Your balance is $741.56

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:00 pm 
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josehill wrote:
However, I suggest adding a cue that clearly distinguishes a zero or near-zero condition from other conditions. For example, the text might change color as zero is reached/approached, or a special icon could appear, or additional text could appear, such as a second line like "Would you like to replenish your funds?" or "Would you like to transfer funds into your account?" Basically, some obvious cue to alert the casual, distracted user that a zero balance is present/imminent.

No !!

I swear, if one more brain-dead useless cocksucking piece of shit software tries to "help" me I will go postal. Do not, repeat NOT waste my, not yours, MY cpu cycles on this total shit.

I am not a third grader. I can make my own decisions in life. I do not, repeat repeat repeat NOT for those who appear to be deaf, dumb and blind (i.e. the "developer community") need some dork-ass imbecile program giving me advice. Please, take your advice, Mr Program, and shove it up your ass. Sideways. Frontways. Backwards. Inverted, with sugar and strawberries on it. Or whatever. I am not paying you to make suggestions. I don't want your retarded suggestions. Just please GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY LIFE.

Do what I bought you for then SHUT UP !!!!


did I make my position clear ?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:15 pm 
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hamei wrote:
did I make my position clear ?

Hamei, we're probably not far apart on this one. I also loathe software interfaces that try to be too "helpful."

I'm not really bothered, though, by an additional line of text or a simple visual cue that warns a user of a potentially critical condition like a zero balance. Something cloying and wasteful of cpu cycles like Microsoft's old Clippy, on the other hand, is a whole different story.

A lot probably depends on the targeted user, though. IRIX users? Teenaged girls? Your office assistant?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:17 pm 
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josehill wrote:
A lot probably depends on the targeted user, though. IRIX users? Teenaged girls? Your office assistant?


I think IRIX users and teenaged girls are probably plenty tech savvy. Even office assistants in 2011 are likely familiar with technology :)

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:52 pm 
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nekonoko wrote:
I think IRIX users and teenaged girls are probably plenty tech savvy. Even office assistants in 2011 are likely familiar with technology :)

Obviously true. My point was that different market segments tend to have different use cases and different interface preferences. I said nothing about any group's familiarity or skill with technology.

On more than one occasion, hamei has described his assistant's tech preferences as being, shall we say, a little different from his preferences. My remark about office assistants was intended as (perhaps too much of) an inside joke for hamei. No offense toward any individual or group was intended.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:05 pm 
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Hotmail used to be useful and then Microsoft bought it ... in the old days you could click say 5 messages and forward them. Try doing that now... But hey I get all these hyper-consumer-breeding-unit-teenage-girl suggestions about things that would be "fun" ... when all I need to do is deal with lawyers, the tax office, government red tape and people who think paying my invoices is optional.

Hamei reminds me of Michael Douglas in "Falling Down"... ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106856/) ... Hamei, you need to try out Windows 2008 server... with all those oh so helpful suggestions.... "You moved the mouse, are you sure you wanted to do this?"... please confirm this, please confirm that.

R.

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Last edited by PymbleSoftware on Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:09 pm 
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josehill wrote:
I said nothing about any group's familiarity or skill with technology.


Understood. I wasn't implying you were saying that, just my frustration that in this day and age many assume there are far more tech/interface dimwits out there than reality suggests.

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